Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in reproductive biology and medicine

The long-term goal of my research is to understand the multi-faceted role of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the primary regulator of the reproductive process. Our brains release GnRH to the pituitary gland, where it stimulates the synthesis and release of the gonadotropin hormones that regulate gonads (ovaries and testes). My research has shown that GnRH also affects cell function in the ovaries and placenta and the hormone may play a role in controlling estrogen and progesterone production. GnRH has a role in both normal ovarian physiology and in the development of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a major cause of death, but little is known about the way it develops. We are seeking new knowledge that will help us understand the role of GnRH in the development of ovarian cancer, which should lead to more effective treatments in future. We also know GnRH affects the successful implanting of an embryo to establish a pregnancy and the formation of placenta, but that process is not well understood. My research will help explain the causes and process of fertility. Synthetic GnRH compounds are often used in different areas of reproductive medicine, such as fertility and sterility, ovulation control and assisted reproduction. This research will provide a better understanding of the cellular and molecular effects of these compounds and should improve clinical applications as a result.